The Gospel Made Visible
Passage: Matthew 4:18-22 & 9:9-13
Community Group Discussion:
A helpful article by pastor Scott Sauls, “Why is Loneliness A Thing?”
Opening Question: What is an adventurous or spontaneous thing you have done with a community of people?
- From the scripture passages share something that surprises, encourages, or confuses you.
- Our current cultural moment is being defined by an epidemic of loneliness. The United Kingdom has recently appointed a loneliness minister and NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote, “Loneliness is the great pathology of modern times.” What habits or life practices feed loneliness? What are the symptoms of loneliness?
- What gets in the way of us committing to Christian community in general and you personally? Consider the quote below from Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book Life Together: “Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than they love the Christian community itself become destroyers of that Christian community…What may appear weak and trifling to us may be great and glorious to God.”
- Interact with the following idea from Josh Moody in 5 Ways to Live the God-Centered Life: “Few habits are safer predictors of long-term spiritual health than your willing, enthusiastic, wholehearted involvement with the local church of God. Why commit to church at all? Because the church is the bride of Christ, and if you love him you will love her. I know she is far from perfect, but despite her imperfections, the church is God’s means of changing the world. Your local church is an outpost of heaven—an embassy of the kingdom—in a world adrift from love, grace, compassion, and truth.”
- Theologian Oliver O’Donovan writes that healthy communities are organized around what he calls “common objects of love.” What are the objects of love for the Christian community based on according to Matthew 4 and 9? How is Christ-centered community different than community in general?
- Read Hebrews 10:24-25, Acts 2:42, and Philippians 2:3-8. What is one thing you can take away from these readings to remind you of your role in community? What is one way you could practice this role this week?